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It was one of those indelible moments. It was early evening on October 25th.  I was sitting at the Oscar Grant Plaza's amphitheater, kicking back, my eyes closed, enjoying the moment, listening to different Occupy Oakland speakers talk.  About half an hour earlier I've asked Noura Khouri, one of the organizers of that day's event (Protest against the "Urban Shield' conference), if she would be so kind as to make a statement on video about the event.



I opened my eyes, looked around, observing.  I see honesty and integrity and commitment and compassion and love and brotherhood and friendship and camaraderie and a certain lust for justice.  I noticed Ms. Khouri is sitting a few feet away and I decide to go over where she is and ask her one more question: Why do you think there aren't 100,000 people here?

She started to answer and talked about the great boots-on-the ground work Occupy Oakland was doing, and within a few seconds I apologized: "I'm sorry, I din't mean to imply that there was anything wrong; that was just a rhetorical question."  I knew she and the rest of the Occupy Oakland team have done an amazing job to organize the day's activities, and I knew they do great work every day of the week.

Why aren't 100,000 people rising up against the depraved an increasingly brutal, exploitative and fascistic (international) corporate state at any given moment anywhere is a question I often ask, rhetorically.  I've been asking that question for years, but especially after the passage of the so-called Patriot Act on October 26th, 2001.



Photo by Ray Pensador - Sat., Oct. 12, 2013 - Mission & 24th St.
And of course, for at least 10 years before that I've already noticed the accelerating pace towards authoritarianism and the wholesale takeover of our system of government by powerful corporatist cartels.  A lot of the corporate state security and legal (fascistic) infrastructure was already being put into place during the Clinton years.  By the time the Patriot Act came along, it was already in place.  And now it is entrenching itself... But not for much longer.

The corporate state already failed.  It failed because of two main reasons: It cannot longer hide its true intentions (its true nature) behind the veneer of democracy due to the fact that human and natural resources (and the existential threat of climate change) are not able to keep up with its rapacious greed; being no longer able to hide its true intentions (for much longer), it is now engaged in an increasingly brutal campaign of repression, putting the fascistic infrastructure it built for this moment (total information awareness surveillance, militarization of police forces, an increasingly repressive and draconian two-tiered legal system) into action.

“The globalization of the exchange of services, capital and patents has led over the past ten years to establish a world dictatorship of finance capital. The small transcontinental oligarchies that hold the financial capital dominate the planet… The lords of financial capital wield over billions of human beings a power of life and death. Through their investment strategies, their stock market speculations, their alliances, they decide day to day who has the right to live on this planet and who is doomed to die.”

-- Archbishop of Tegucigalpa Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga (confidant of Pope Francis)

[The emphasis is mine]

What I knew 15, 20 years ago, millions of other people knew as well.  This stuff has been happening in plain view (for those willing to see it).  Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement knew it and acted on it, forcing the state to reveal its true face (at least for a while), as it brutally suppressed the peaceful uprising.

And as more and more people come to realize the true nature of the system, the mind-numbing media corporate propaganda it has been using for years as one of its main tools of control degenerates into grotesque banana republic-level spectacles.

And it is at this point, the system no longer able to hide behind the veneer of democracy, no longer able to fool all the people all the time with cheap banana republic-style propaganda, no longer able to meet its basic duties of providing for the common good, of maintaining a leveled playing field, that it will be forced to finally take its mask off and show its true self.  And that is why it has failed.


Throughout the years I've heard the apologists and the fearful demanding that those of us who speak clearly about what we see happening put forward a detailed blueprint describing exactly what will replace the current system, if our "wish" for (peaceful) revolution comes to be.  One sometimes feel as if they're saying "Don't talk about these things, don't upset the apple cart... Your rhetoric is defeatist, a downer, depressing, unhelpful... 'Better to maintain the lie' since we don't know what the future will hold if people revolt."

No one has to put forward an entire socioeconomic blueprint in order to demand that our constitutional protections are respected, or that the rule of law is applied equally to all without bias or prejudice, or that banksters who stole trillions of dollars and caused untold misery for millions of people are held to account for their crimes, or that those in public service stop abusing the sacred trust we've given by selling their offices to the highest bidder, or stop war profiteering, torture, the killing of hundreds of innocent people with drone attacks, etc., etc., etc.  No one, no entity, can demand anything in return for justice!

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning.

They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives, and the lives of others.

- Frederick Douglass

Some often mention that if the corporate state is truly challenged, that there could be violence, and so it is better to STFU up and no make too many demands, not to become too organized, or too effective in the fight for social justice...

My answer to that is, "Aren't you aware of the actual violence the system is inflicting on millions of people, of the brutality.  Aren't you aware of the countless people who are living in utter terror and fear right this very moment as the result of policies that have been carefully crafted to bring about that result?  Did you hear about the woman is Spain who in desperation because she was about to be evicted ran through the window of her apartment and fell to her death?  About the thousands who have taken their own lives as a direct result of the policies being pushed by the international financial cartel, of whom even the Pope talked about recently?"  That is violence; that is the new face of fascism, with a Neoliberal flavor.

I know that those who know about these things suggest that when we try meditating that we do so by thinking about beautiful things, or better yet, not thinking about anything.  I do that sometimes... Other times, I do a different type of meditation; I close my eyes and try to imagine the pain and horror being felt at that very moment by the homeless dying of hypothermia in the streets, by the head of household about to be evicted during the holiday season, by the long-term unemployed who's buckling down under financial pressure, by the prisoners who are being tortured and abused in our brutal prison system, by all who are being victimized because of the depravity and greed of the ruling class...  I also find that kind of meditation helpful.  It's call empathy!

These are my conclusions.  I've concluded that the system is malevolent, and that it will not only continue its barbarism, but that it will get increasingly worse with each passing day, until we decide we've had enough.

We live in the world that your propaganda made, but when you think you are strong, you are weak.  Your lies tell us the truth we will use against you. Your secrecy shows us where we will strike. Your weapons reveal your fear for all to see.  From Cairo to Quito a new order is forming.  The power of people armed with the truth.

-- Julian Assange / Calle 13 multi-viral


I'm not going to ask you to agree with any of this right now.  But I am going to ask you to consider thinking about the true nature of the system; take your time, but do the best you can to try to fully understand it.  If you conclude that it is benevolent, and fair, and just, then carry on doing your thing.

However, if you conclude, as I've concluded, that it is evil, malevolent, exploitative, despotic, and cruel, then I'm going to ask you to meet me at the public square on April 15th, 2014.

Meet me in San Francisco, Oakland, Madrid, London, Paris, Athens, Rome, Washington, New York, Berlin...

Don't worry about what happens next.  Bring your guitar, bring your radio, bring sandwiches to share with others, bring your poetry, your drawings, your music, your protest signs, your compassion.  Just show up; be there.  The rest will take care of itself!

And so from now on, when I meditate, I will imagine sitting at the same place I sat on October 25th 2013, kicking back, my eyes closed, listening... That's how 100,000 people gathered in the public square exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of assembly to demand justice sound like.  And we will remain there until all our grievances are fully addressed.

And by all means, know that to me the Gathering of April 15th is just a concept.  If you want to do it before then, I'll be there; if you want to do it after that date, I'll be there as well.  Whenever you are ready, I'll be there!

And don't be fearful.  No one should ever be fearful for demanding justice.


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Market For The People |Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook
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Comment Preferences

  •  T&R, Ray, (4+ / 0-)

    for a powerful piece.

    I don't always agree with you in every particular, but I always agree with you in general.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 11:57:02 PM PST

  •  You picked a great day (5+ / 0-)

    With all of the tax day Tea Party protesters supported by Fox, CNBC, an Bloomberg News you won't be noticed or acknowledged.

    Any protests on April 15th will be seen as right wing anti tax protests.

    Try May Day!

    © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

    by Tomtech on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 01:13:05 AM PST

  •  Does anybody really know what time it is ... (7+ / 0-)
    And by all means, know that to me the Gathering of April 15th is just a concept... Whenever you are ready, I'll be there!
    In spirit, of course. How wonderful a thing is the spirit.
    Just show up; be there.  The rest will take care of itself!
    And then a miracle happens? Right.

    You will meditate on the vision of huge crowds of people showing up. And we will join you with our own meditations, also concentrating on envisioning huge crowds of people showing up. And if we are successful in our meditations, then huge crowds of people will show up (or at least psychic crowds of virtual people), because of the power in the rising consciousness of thousands of well-focussed meditaters. Because it's the vision that counts, of course. And the structures of corruption and evil will vanish, because they cannot stand against the will of the people.

    And if we are not successful, it is because we are not pure enough in spirit, not dedicated selflessly enough to changing the whole structure of our society into something unknown and unknowable - or because the tipping point has not yet come.

    Om.
    .
    .
    .
    Oy.

     

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 02:45:40 AM PST

  •  protests against 'Economic Poison' of Austerity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, lostinamerica

    EU Summit Blockaded Over 'Economic Poison' of Austerity
    EU leaders meet to hash out budget, trade policies that protesters say are "for big business," not the people

    and there is another "trade" agreement like the TPP

    it is the TTIP for US and Europe

    from the article linked below

    The purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue: the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to defend their citizens. It would allow a secretive panel of corporate lawyers to overrule the will of parliament and destroy our legal protections. Yet the defenders of our sovereignty say nothing.

    The mechanism through which this is achieved is known as investor-state dispute settlement. It's already being used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the living planet.

    I added the bold.

    The background article on TTIP is here

    This Transatlantic Trade Deal is a Full-Frontal Assault on Democracy
    Brussels has kept quiet about a treaty that would let rapacious companies subvert our laws, rights and national sovereignty

  •  I won't be there, but I support you (0+ / 0-)

    If there are protests about the widening gap between rich and poor, I'll be there for sure.  But I just don't have the time nor motivation to hit the streets for a lengthy and nebulous list of grievances.

    And I know April 15th was just tossed out there, but consider that you could probably get a corporate sponsorship if you want to start a protest on April 15th. Anything seen as anti-tax would be a win for them.

  •  No one should agree to join in a large group (4+ / 0-)

    action with a person whom you only know from anonymous writings on the Internet. If you have read any of Ray's constant posts you know how dangerous that would be. You don't know Ray, his group or his intentions. All you know is what some guy on the Internet wants you to know. Occupy was not begun with anonymous people over the Internet but with groups of dedicated people who were willing to take a stand and let their identities be known to each other if not the world at large. This is nothing disparaging to the person called Ray on the Internet. It is just safe practice.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 05:54:55 AM PST

    •  I think you missed the point. The exhortation is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, Dianna

      not for anybody to follow me or anyone person. Did you see the "Time is now - Russel Brand" video I included in the diary?  That's the message!

      •  No, I didn't. I am saying no one should agree to (3+ / 0-)

        be a part of a group that you know nothing about.  You could show up on April 15 only to find that the person who organized it intended it to be violent...or in some other way illegal.  You would be essentially agreeing to be a part of a group that you know nothing about.  If you don't know the person or group behind the organization you put yourself at risk by becoming a part of that group.  And, as most of your diaries point out, the surveillance state has the ability to tag you with that group membership.  You, yourself could be an agent provocateur and there is no way for anyone on the internet to know that.  I'm not saying that you are but calls for a revolution, even though you say it is a peaceful one are something people should be wary of on the internet.  I've never seen any explanation of how a revolution to take away the wealth of the 1% and distribute it to the others couldn't involve violence.  Certainly you don't think the 1% will agree to that easily?  I am not saying any of this applies to you because I simply don't know what your intentions are.  But I am saying that I don't think anyone should enter into an agreement to be a part of a revolution without knowing something more about the people starting it, other than their anonymous postings on the internet.

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 06:51:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read the diary? I'm part of no "group" and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lostinamerica

          therefore I'm asking no one to join or follow any.

          I've been to more protest rallies that I can could count and in almost all of them the whole thing was peaceful. In the few occasions there was any type of violence it was mainly by the corporate goons, i.e. the police.

          If you see all the videos I've taken and all the photos I've posted and all the accounts of people I talk to face to face at those rallies you will not find allusion to violence, ever.

          At least I'm out there with people in the streets. Would you care to share with us your own experiences in reaching out... Maybe some insights, some ideas?

          •  "Meet me at the Public Square on April 15" (3+ / 0-)

            Of course you are asking people to join you.  Just as your diaries consistently ask people to follow your brand of revolution.  I realize you have posted photographs from rallies.  The fact is that most protests and rallies are peaceful and don't end in violence.  But you are an anonymous person.  You are posting what you choose to post.  You could have videos of violence that you choose not to post.  I am free to take you at your word that you are a legitimate person and not an online persona created for the purpose of getting people to follow you in a revolution to overthrow the structure of the US Government and society as we know it today.  But really, all of that is just simply a choice based on my own wishes.  Not reality because reality isn't an anonymous diarist at DKos.  You may be "out there" with people on the streets.  Or you may just be saying that to make your point.  Or you may be saying that to get people to trust your revolutionary bonafides.  I'm not commenting one way or the other about that.  I am saying that I don't think people should join in a public group action based on the internet writings of a person or persons that you don't know.  Anymore than I think you should go on a date with an anonymous person on the internet.  Or send them nude pictures of yourself.

            My whole point is made by your last paragraph.  If I write that I have been to hundreds of protests going back to 1975 do you automatically believe that?  If I post pictures of protests from 1975 will you believe me?  It's fine to play revolution here on this essentially anonymous website.  But if you are going to take direct action I think it is safe internet protocol not to get involved in one directed, thought up by, organized by or promoted by someone you don't know.  Based on your frequent writings about the internet being full of sock puppets/agents provocateur/paid shills, etc. I would think you would be the first person to approve this careful approach.

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 07:41:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, at this point, do you think you've done (0+ / 0-)

              enough casting aspersions on my person with the stuff about government agents, provocateur, "brand of revolution," etc.  BTW, and just so you know, I've met a few long-standing Kossacks in person, face-to-face, shook hands with them, and if you ask them they will tell you I don't look like a sockpuppet, I would hope!

              Now, casting aspersions and engaging in mockery is easy; any six grader can do that.

              Let's see if we can have at least one serious exchange...

              What is your take on my (and Russell Brand, Chris Hedges, Bill Moyers, Henry Giroux, the Pope, and others) characterization of the system?  Do you agree or disagree?

              And regardless of your view, I'm sure you would agree that we face some serious challenges as a nation?

              What do you think we should do?  Should we put all our efforts in campaigning for the next corporate-approved candidate for the Democratic party?

              Mind you, I'll end up voting for the corporate-approved candidate anyway, as I've always done, being a good loyal Democrat and all... But I just think we need to do a little something something more, like become fully engaged in the social justice movement that's engulfing the country (and much of the world right now).  That's all.

              Remember one thing, in the words of Rusell, "there is going to be a revolution; it's totally going to happen."

              The reason he's so sure that people will rise up against the corporate state is because of the depravity and brutality of the ruling class.  Whatever happens next, it is going to be predicated on what they do once people rise up in peaceful resistance.

              •  I am not casting aspersions on you Ray. (3+ / 0-)

                I am merely pointing out that as long as you post anonymously I don't think people should be investing in direct action with you as the leader/facilitator.  Not because of anything about you.  But because there is no way to know anything about you when you are just an internet persona.  I'm sorry but that's just the way the internet works.

                I am not against direct action and believe it to be important.  But I would not get involved with a group when I don't know the members or their intentions from anything other than what they say about themselves on the internet.  Do I think there is much danger from a group of people getting together singing songs and swapping recipes?  No.  But I have no way of knowing that is what is going to happen other than the assurances of a person who doesn't even reveal their real identity.  The federal laws on conspiracy are way too strict and broadly interpreted in my opinion for me to be comfortable joining in with a group that completely controls what I am allowed to know about them.  Maybe I've finally out-paranoided you.  But I do know it is good internet safety.

                "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                by stellaluna on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:10:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Which group? I have no group and I'm not (0+ / 0-)

                  asking anybody to join any group...

                  Oh, now I see!  It really looks like either you didn't read the diary, or didn't quite get the meaning of what I wrote.

                  I thought I've addressed that by mentioning that it was along the lines of the Russell Brand video (embedded).

                  The April 15th date is a concept, exhorting people in several cities to rise up in peaceful protests at the same time.  It doesn't matter when it is, be it tomorrow, next week, April 15th, or in a year or two from now.

                  There is no group, there is no leader; I'm not asking to be the leader of anything.  I'm not sure if you've read some of my recent diaries about non-hierarchical movements.

                  I really really hope that this time it is clear.

                  •  As mud. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hey338Too, serendipityisabitch

                    And I would never comment about a diary I don't read.

                    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                    by stellaluna on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:29:16 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh, so even that wasn't clear. If you ask me (0+ / 0-)

                      directly what is it that you didn't understand I'd be glad to answer.  I think we're both adults and should be able to communicate as such, right.

                      It seemed like you misunderstood the meaning of the diary, thinking that I was calling for people to follow me as a leader, to join my movement, and to join me at the public square.

                      I thought I'd addressed that issue at the end of the diary... This is not about my movement, or me being the leader of anything.  It is in the same vein as the embedded Russell Brand video.

                      I don't know if I can do anything else to make sure is more clear, but if you help out I'd be glad to oblige.

                      •  I probably wouldn't waste my time if (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hey338Too, serendipityisabitch

                        I were you.  I would still not be a part if a movement I know nothing about other than vague allusions to peaceful revolution.   I will continue my work fighting the very things you say you are fighting against. But I will do it in the real world and not on the internet. That way, when I do it people will know who I am and what I stand for. Doing it anonymously on the internet is like rolling a character in a fantasy game.

                        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                        by stellaluna on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:47:21 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Believe me; I'm not wasting my time at all. (0+ / 0-)

                          I have a very precise intention in this exchange.

                          Yes, let's all keep working for a better future in our own ways.

                          I know what you mean about boots on the ground... I've been involved with quite a few non-profits throughout the years, and was lucky enough to be recognized with a couple of awards for volunteer work.  It is very fulfilling to work at that level also.

                          So, keep doing your thing, and good luck.

  •  thanks Ray ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    the time is now, hope starts with each and every one of us

    '' one day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich''

    by lostinamerica on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:14:10 AM PST

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